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What Makes a Successful Negotiator?

An Answer By Osama El-Kadi



Above all a successful negotiator knows the ABC of negotiation, he knows the three golden roles like the back of his hands.



Q In general, what makes a successful negotiator in your view?

A Above all a successful negotiator knows the ABC of negotiation, he knows the three golden roles like the back of his hands.

Aim high, Be patient, Concede small.

A negotiator who operates with these three golden rules in mind, in fact, as a second nature will succeed and produce stunning results every time, regardless of the level of his negotiating skills.

Aiming Low, Low aspiration level or not setting one’s eye or aim at a big gain is the number one reason for failure in negotiation, especially in business.

Unsuccessful Negotiators usually fall shy of aspiring high for fear of failure. It is also customary in the business world for people to lower the expectation of everyone involved especially their bosses for fear of punishment.

While this is understandable in the harsh reality and insecurity of the business world, a successful negotiator should approach the situation differently and involve his boss and their teams in the negotiation itself from the start. This will secure the successful negotiator position no matter what the result is.

Companies like Oracles and Microsoft are usually very hard for negotiators to deal with or to get a good deal from.

A successful negotiator however, should take his boss onboard and excite him about a prospect of 70% discount rather than the customarily 20% offered by such companies.

The same negotiator should inform his manager that with his support and unity within the organization they should aspire to such a target and not simply accept the going discount. When this unity established, whether the negotiator succeed or not will certainly not do him the harm he imagined beforehand.

Being patient is about the planning process and the ability to play a waiting game to allow the opponent to reconsider his position. Some negotiators rush into getting results and make mistakes.

In addition, most concessions usually happen at the last minutes of any negotiation. It all happens in the end if we are patient enough. As they say “good things happens to those who wait”.

Concede small is about NOT giving too many or too large a concession without something in return. The larger the concession the more the opponent will ask if he is a trained negotiator.

In addition, a large concession gives so many “positive” signals to the opponent to press harder and ask for more.

A supplier for example conceding to a discount of 50% after initially giving 20% is certainly asking for troubles. A skilled negotiator will certainly take him to the 80% mark if he pressed harder and judging by the huge jump in concession.


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